Third Sunday of Advent
I am sure that some of those who went to the desert to meet John the Baptist did not mean to repent at all, but just wanted to see who that man was. Everybody was talking about John the Baptist, why not see what this is all about. Today we could compare that to a very famous preacher, or bishop, or even a pope who happened to be in town. Some people would travel long distances just for the opportunity to see and hear this celebrity, but not for any deeper reason. To those who were looking only for the sense of ‘being there’ Jesus says: “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.” Some people switch churches because they don’t like the pastor, or music, or the liturgy, or perhaps some other things. It is good to have a nice place to worship where we feel comfortable. But when I hear Jesus’ words today, I understand that the church is not a place to be entertained, but a place to hear the truth. John was saying the truth and only truth, even though some disagreed, didn’t like it, and came back from the desert angry and disappointed.